Opposed to IM’s $16.9M plan for school projects

Not everyone receives the daily newspaper, so they are not aware of what the Iron Mountain School Board has in store for us.

On Monday, Feb. 20, the Iron Mountain City Council met at 6 p.m. at Iron Mountain City Hall and I attended. They were patient with me and showed interest in my bringing up the Central School article and my concern regarding our ability to finance general obligation bonds of up to $16.93 million for a host of projects. This would include demolishing Central School, which has an overhead walkway to the Children’s Museum. Would removing the walkway damage the exterior of the museum and need repairs?

I was given an information handout, written by the school board, detailing how they want to spend taxpayer’s money. The following are part of their list:

1. Build a new 31,400-square-feet elementary school.

2. Build a new 12,000-square-feet early childhood center and kindergarten academy designed for 21st century learning and new programming, unlike anywhere in the U.P.

3. Upgrade the Industrial Arts building.

4. Renovations to Izzo-Mariucci/administration center, gyms, band rooms and cafeterias, roof replacements, etc.

How many of our locals have the money to update or repair their own homes, pay for groceries to feed their families, buy gas for their vehicles, clothe their children, pay their utility bills and have no money left over in case of an emergency?

The school board wants to turn the entire area into one campus for all children kindergarten through 12th. Does this include all the children in the northside school that still has an outstanding mortgage to pay off? Are they going to close that school like they closed the eastside school? I was upset when I saw the picture of what the campus would look like.

The whole campus has city streets running east, west, north and south with cars and trucks needing those streets. We also have Bishop Baraga Catholic School just a block or two away. They need to use these streets when they walk from their school to St. Mary and St. Joseph Catholic Church for Mass and special programs they participate in. They are not a part of your so-called campus.

Has the school board thought at all about safety in this congested area? Vehicles, school buses, children walking, sporting events, one lane to drive by parked vehicles on both sides of the street, people opening doors into that lane, etc. — especially when it is dark or we have bad weather.

May I offer the school board a suggestion. We have high school students transferring to Breitung Township Schools in Kingsford, children are attending Bishop Baraga School and they have outstanding teachers and receiving an excellent education. Donate Central School to St. Mary and St. Joseph Catholic Church so they can have a parking lot and we can make the area safer for our children, senior citizens and the homeowners.

We have a community we are proud of and there is room for all of us to voice our opinion.

Vote no on May 2.


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